Last year I was worrying about the impact of my son with special needs going to school. I did not know whether he would be fully supported or if he could cope. Would he make friends okay, would he keep up with his peers. If I am honest I have become so complacent about his special needs because he is just doing so well. The school I cannot thank enough and have done everything I feel they can to support him. He has one-to-one support full time, despite the fact that the government think you can turn his difficulties on and off like a tap, or at least predict when they happen. Either that or his support worker will think – oh he does not need me for 5 minutes I shall just got and sit in the corner for a bit as I am not being paid.
He can now write his name and knows all his first phonic sounds. He even recognises numbers written numerically (as opposed to in words). In fact he has been calling his dad by his “real” name for a while, but I was surprised when he saw the word “Joy” written down, read it, and told me that it was my name! He is more patient, attentive, and becoming more independent (he can put his own shoes and socks on!) So it came as quite a shock when the school asked how I felt about keeping him back a year.
His older brother is currently in Year 1 so I know exactly what the jump from the early Years Foundation Stage to Year 1 is like – and it would be a massive jump for him. I would hate for all the progress he has made to be knocked back by trying to move him on too soon. I can see how moving up with his peers could be detrimental to him both academically and socially, as they move further away developmentally from him. He was only 5 last month so the age gap between him and the new older reception children would not be all that great. But then he has had the same letter as the other children saying which class he is moving into and he just wants to know when it is happening now!
He is such a likeable, fun child that I think he could easily make friends again. Just feels like I’ve let my guard down again and forgot that he is behind. The decision will not be made lightly and the school have had to pay an educational psychologist to come in and see him. Whatever the outcome I know it will be what is best for him, and appreciate that the school are fully behind supporting him.
Whatever his difficulties I see so much hope for his future. My oldest son had none of the help and support and has become an amazing young man. Often my 10 year old does worry about the future for his younger brother but we just reassure him that he will be fine.
Do you have any experience of a child being held back a year? Or is your child due to start school this year and you are worried?